Charles “Chuck” Morkri
June 14, 1931 – September 16, 2023
Charles “Chuck” Albon Morkri, of Verona, Wisconsin passed away on September 16, 2023, after a brief illness. We are thankful that his entire family was able to be with him during his final days.
Chuck was born in rural Folsom, Wis. in 1931. He was raised during the depression years on a small farm where his family grew tobacco and corn, milked a dozen or so cows, gathered the eggs of a handful of chickens, and lived off the bounty of their large garden.
He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Folsom for 8 years and graduated from Readstown High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1950–1954 in the Korean War where his unit was awarded South Korean and U.S. Presidential Unit citations and he was awarded a United Nations medal with two Battle Stars.
After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison under the GI Bill, and married Barbara Nelson of Viroqua, Wis. between semesters in December of 1956. Chuck graduated from the UW in 1958 with a BS in Communication Arts.
Chuck started his career in broadcasting at WRCO radio in Richland Center. In 1968 he and Barbara moved their growing family to West Middleton and Chuck went back to WKOW-TV in Madison, where he had interned in college. He was a television weatherman there for a few years and then transitioned to WKOW Radio, which later became WTSO. He loved being on the radio and he especially enjoyed working with his colleagues, meeting listeners and interacting with some of the many country music artists they hosted. His radio career spanned 28 years and he finished as the Operations Director of WTSO and WZEE Radio.
He did voiceover work and TV commercials well into his 80s and was perhaps best known as the voice of Mounds Pet Foods with his sing-songy tagline: “Don’t forget your free Mounds candy bar.”
As a dad, he attended more band and choir concerts, plays, musicals, baseball games, basketball games, and science fairs for his six kids than any one person should ever have to sit through. He also led Sunday School classes, served as president of the church council and found time to sing in the West Middleton Lutheran Church choir for 55 years.
Chuck was very proud of his Norwegian heritage and shared this pride with his family and friends. He was actively involved in the Mount Horeb Sons of Norway for over 40 years. He traveled to Norway regularly, leading as many as 14 or 15 different tour groups to experience the wonders of his ancestral homeland. As an added bonus, his wife Barbara was able to share many of those unforgettable trips with him.
In retirement, Chuck co-founded The Nordic Company, a Scandinavian-focused travel business. He also sang with the Edvard Grieg Men’s Chorus for many years and served as the Wisconsin State Vice President for the Norwegian Singers Association of America. He’s a past President of Sognefjordlag, was editor of the Sognefjordlag Newsletter, and was a member of Torske Klubben.
During his third attempt at retirement, he worked for Zimbrick, Inc., delivering cars all over the upper Midwest. He loved being on the open road and he especially cherished the camaraderie and friendships with his fellow drivers.
Chuck is preceded in death by his parents Albon and Mabel (Munson) Morkri of Folsom, WI. and his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Alan Eberhardt, of Deerfield, WI.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Barbara A. Morkri; his children Christopher (Katy) Morkri; Michael (Barbara) Morkri; Katherine Morkri (Hoyt Halverson); Vince Morkri; Carlton Morkri; and Melissa McNulty (Ken McNulty). He is also survived by his grandchildren Annalise, Max, Miles, Gunnar, Emily, and Alex, and one great-grandson, Finn. He is further survived by his nieces Diane Eberhardt Patterson, Kristi Freidel, Rebecca Eberhardt and nephew Andy Eberhardt and their families, along with many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 4-7 p.m. at West Middleton Lutheran Church, 3763 Pioneer Rd, Verona. A traditional funeral service begins at Noon on Thursday, September 28 at the church with visitation beginning at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall. Online condolences can be left at www.gundersonfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Chuck’s name to West Middleton Lutheran Church or the American Red Cross.
The family thanks his care teams at Meriter Hospital and Agrace Hospice. A special thank you to all his neighbors, especially Phyllis and Tom Ziegler.
He will be deeply missed by his family, and all who loved him. Takk for alt.